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Leeds village in Kent cannot, of course, be compared with Leeds in Yorkshire which is probably the first 'hit' you get when searching for Leeds on the web.  We are a small community with fewer than 1000 inhabitants, nestling at the foot of the North Downs in the heart of the Kent countryside five miles south east of Maidstone.

The village may have taken its name from the stream known in early times was known as the Hlyde…… the loud or noisy one. We know the original settlement was called Hlydes – 'belonging to the noisy one' and is recorded as Esleades, 1086, Hlydea, Hledes c.1100 and Leeds 1610.

Sadly, the noisy one has now been muffled by being diverted through an underground conduit – the sound of merry water being replaced by the rumble of traffic.

If this is the true origin of the name, it would pinpoint the location of the original settlement as being in the hollow where now stands the George Inn and the cluster of delightful period homes.

Of course, much of Leeds fame is due to its proximity to Leeds Castle. Nowadays a Mecca for tourists but up to 1974 it was privately owned, keeping many people in Leeds and nearby Broomfield employed both in the castle and on the surrounding farmland.

There was an Anglo-Saxon fortress on the site of Leeds castle as early as 978 AD and, as you would expect, has had a colourful history through the ages with much of the British monarchy passing through its portals.  Now many thousands of people from all over the world are attracted to its moated magnificence, to the beauty of its surroundings and to attend the many concerts - classical, jazz and pop – held in the grounds throughout the summer.

As you come into the village from the busy A20 you are aware of another landmark – our ancient Norman church its suggestions of earlier Anglo-Saxon origins. It is a beautiful building with its surrounding churchyard which in spring time displays a marvellous carpet of snowdrops and later daffodils – worth a journey in itself.  Do take time to walk round the graveyard and read some of the ancient gravestones which give us fascinating glimpses of social history through the years.

Leeds Priory, Kent

In the middle of the village, behind the George Inn on the rise of land and set back from the road is the site of the old Leeds Priory.  We understand that it was founded in 1119.  The Priory flourished for 420 years until King Henry VIII with his relish for purging the land of Papal error and replenishing the royal coffers at the same time, ordered its dissolution.  Not surprisingly, the site is reputed to be haunted.

Around the turn of the century a retired policeman recounted seeing a ghost that changed into four different figures before vanishing in broad daylight. Opposite the Church is the Leeds and Broomfield Church of England Primary School – opened in 1874.  Today, it is still thriving.

You can now contact Kent Police for all Wards and Officers here -

To identify an officer, the postcode can be placed in Find Your Area, and this will bring up the ward for the area.  To identify the team and officers for the area click ‘On the Team’.